Historical Context and BackgroundWinfield House stands on the prior site of St. Dustan’s Villa, originally named Hertford Villa, an Italianate style residence built in 1825 for Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, the third Marquess of Hertford. The home’s primary use was for entertainment. Concerned about the safety and security of her young son, in 1935 American Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, toured the site of St. Dunstan’s Villa in the secluded Regent’s Park enclave. That year, and at the age of 23, Hutton acquired the expansive property. On the 10th of August 1936, the Crown Estate Commission granted permission to Hutton and her husband to demolish St. Dunstan’s and replace it with a Neo-Georgian structure. Hutton bestowed the name Winfield House on the residence after her grandfather, Frank Winfield Woolworth. Construction of Winfield House took a total of fifteen months, and in January of 1938, the house was completed. After damage to the house during World War II, in 1945, Hutton elected to donate the Winfield House to the United States Government, and in 1946 the house officially became the American Ambassador’s Residence to the Court of St. James’s. From this point forward, various ambassadors occupied the residence and Winfield was altered to fit their needs and preferences.
The largest and most extensive renovation to take place was under Ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg. During this renovation, the iconic hand-painted Chinese Wallpaper, dating to the 18th-century, was installed on the walls of the Green Room, now known as the Garden Room. The generosity of Ambassador and Mrs. Annenberg continued after they departed the house by the donation of funds to retain the public rooms as redesigned in 1969. As of today the house still remains largely the same as during the Annenberg’s tenure.
Historical Photos Courtesy of The Winfield House Collection
Hutton Era Cantilevered Staircase and Reconfigured Reception Area, 1950s
Reception Room with Adam-style Ballroom Furniture, 1971
Reception Room, 1971
Grand Staircase with New Wrought Iron Balustrade, 1971
Gold Room, 1971
State Dining Room with Empire-Style Chandeliers
Hutton Era French Boiserie and Parquet Floors in Garden Room
Hutton Era French Boisserie (Garden Room)
Red Brick and Portland Stone Facade, 1971
Garden Room, 1971
State Dining Room, 1971
Reception Room, Featuring Abstract Paintings, Annenberg Era, 1971.
Hutton Era French Boiserie in Room Now Known as the Garden Room
Hutton Era Cantilevered Staircase and Original Wrought Iron Stair Balustrade with Lyre Motif
Reception Room Looking To Garden
Garden Facade Featuring Stone Centerpiece with Corinthian Columns and Trellised Extension, 1971
Garden View, 1971
Garden Room with 18th Century Hand-Painted Chinese Wallpaper, Installed by Haines